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Interview with Rosie Hardy - Photographer of the HANDS ALL OVER album cover

Posted Aug 13.2010

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your work.
My name is Rosie and I'm about to turn 20 in a cou ple of months (very exciting!), and I've been running my own small photography business for just under two years, since I was 17. A lot of my personal work is self portraiture, i ncluding the Maroon 5 cover, however I do all sorts of other photography to pay the bills, and I love every aspect of it!

When I'm taking pictures, I try to create characters in the portraits I do, and have each picture telling some kind of story about that character. In regard to personal bits and bobs, I'm English and currently live in a small town called Buxton, which is famous for its spring water (interesting stuff!). I graduated 6th form at 18 and lived in America for six months. I got back this February after a pretty rough breakup and, since then, [I have] just thrown myself back into my photography; and without wanting to sound too cliche, it's been such a fantastic journey!

What inspires you as a photographer?
Ooh, so much! Of course, there are the photographers out there who inspire me to get off my backside and create better pictures and see the world differently. Then there are the everyday props, locations and people I meet who inspire characters and scenarios in my work. Probably most importantly, the online community has inspired me to never ever give up, to be kind to people who I don't know, and to push myself to the next level.

I've been so lucky to have support from a fantastic bunch of people, and I recently started doing photography workshops so now I get to meet them and hang out with them, too! The Internet has been fantastic, I have it to thank for a lot of the opportunities I've had!

How did Maroon 5 come across your work?
This ties in nicely with how wonderful the online community has been to me. Thanks to the hits my flickr page has gotten from these people, when you typed "hands all over" into Google images, one of my older pictures popped up on the first page. I'd actually named that picture "I need to feel your hands all over me," which was a song lyric from a song I liked at that time. The band's management saw it and contacted me about possibly remaking it to fit the image the guys had in mind: slightly more sexual, with some real va-va-voom to it! At first, I thought it was a scam (because, seriously, there was no way Maroon 5 wanted to work with me) but I followed it through anyway - and before I knew it, we were putting together the final touches for their album! It still doesn't feel real, I look at the cover and I know that I made that picture but my brain is struggling to connect the magnitude of it all!

What was the concept behind the picture that is featured on the cover of Hands All Over?
The cover was based around an image I had taken a couple of years back when I fir st got into photography. They liked the idea of multiple hands wrapping round someone, and so when it came to putting the cover together we all collaborated to try and make the image appropriate to Maroon 5's style and message. It's interesting because there are so many different ways to interpret the album cover, and anyone can take from it what they wish.

For me, the image represents memories, sadness at leaving someone behind and a fire that an old flame will leave, and one that you're never entirely sure will burn out. For someone else, they might interpret it completely differently. That's the beautiful thing about Maroon 5's music, too - you take from it what you need to feel.

Can you tell us about the making of the picture?
I shot with a Canon 5D Mkii and my 85mm 1.2 lens, at my house. The whole shoot took around an hour, it was just a case of putting together different poses and combining the hands afterwards in the editing. It was just me, no one was in (that would have been REALLY weird) and I don't think any of my neighbors saw me gallivanting around the room. At least I hope not!

Did you get to meet the band? If so, how was the experience?
I haven't met them yet, but I am really excited to! I'm going to LA soon and hopefully we'll get a chance to hang out (fully clothed) and play dominoes or whatever all the groovy people do.

Have you listened to the new album? If so, What did you think?
Again, not yet, but can't wait to hear it all together! I'll be queuing for my copy for sure.

Have you worked with other artists?
Yes, but nothing quite on the same scale as this. I love doing album artwork, it's rare to find a commercial point in photography that gives you creative leeway to have fun! Albums and book covers. Both are a lot of fun. I was lucky enough to work with Penguin Book Publishers this year, too, collaborating on cover art.

Where can we see more of your work?
On my Web site or my flickr:

Rosie Hardy Official site: www.rosiehardy.com

Rosie Hardy on flickr: http://flickr.com/rosie_hardy

What are you up to next?
I'm moving out of my parents house into the big wide world, running photography workshops around the UK and hopefully in the US next year. I'm also enjoying my last year as a teenager!

And finally, feel free to leave a message to our site...
If there's anything that I have learned from this whole experience, it is that you can be anything you want to be. This time two years ago I was in school without a clue what I wanted to do with my life, taking pretty crappy pictures and shooting on automatic mode. So, to anyone out there in a parallel position, find what you love, whether it be photography, fluffy bunnies or ant farming - run with it. Seriously, if you throw yourself into something with all your heart and soul, nothing can stop you! Be who you want to be - "life isn't about finding yourself, it's about creating yourself!"

 

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